Author Topic: Complaining about free events  (Read 5232 times)

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Venus193

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Re: Complaining about free events
« Reply #15 on: November 07, 2012, 06:26:26 PM »
I also agree.   Something like this happened some years ago at a company I worked for when the company outing wasn't to everyone's taste.  It was never done that way again.

Deetee

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Re: Complaining about free events
« Reply #16 on: November 07, 2012, 06:49:30 PM »
I say rude, OP. I just don't think you can ever criticize hospitality.

I think the question is whether this is hospitality.

For example, if I go to my great-aunts and she serves me tough overcooked meat  and overcooked mushy vegetables, I will eat it cheerfully and complement the bread. My aunt is giving me hospitality.

If I go to a restaurant myself and I am paying for nice dinner and they serve me tough, overcooked meat  and overcooked mushy vegetables, I will complain and ask for another meal. This is not hospitality. This is a service/good I am purchasing and I deserve to get what I paid for.

In a situation where a business associate hoping to gain my goodwill and business took me out for dinner and it was not good, I could let them know. The associate is trying to make me happy and serving me an unpleasant meal does not accomplish that.

This sounds more like the third situation. The "guests" are indirectly paying the entertainment ( I am assuming they are a source of revenue for the company) and it would be in the company's interest to present something they enjoy.

However, without knowing what it actually is, it's hard to tell.





 

Drawberry

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Re: Complaining about free events
« Reply #17 on: November 07, 2012, 07:01:38 PM »
When I was in my early teens (shockingly not long ago) my mother often took me on business trips to New York City namely because I couldn't be left home alone for the length of time she would be traveling. During these trips I was included in attendance for several Broadway showings that where 'shmoozing' events her company was doing where she essentially took out important clients to see these popular showings and really it was the company buying their loyalty. (and for the record, me going was perfectly acceptable)


Most clients where pleasant and kind, one couple who sat behind my mother and I however where completely obnoxious! It was a showing of my favorite play; Phantom of the Opera and it came to the scene in which the song 'All I Ask Of You' (and it's reprise)  where sung. The scene, and songs, are meant to be a very moving part of the play and many people in the audience tear up and it's generally a universal "wow this is sad, everyone be quiet" scene. The couple my mother was taking out via the company however thought it was the perfect scene to laugh loudly, chit chat, and otherwise be obnoxious and noisy.

It was pretty clear this was not their 'cup of tea', or at the very least that they had no interest in what was going on. I found it incredibly rude how they where acting during the remaining length of the play, mind you I was only around 15-16 years old at the time and even being that young I was shocked at how poorly two grown adults where acting.

Something being free doesn't mean you have to like it, no one's going to like free moldy bread! But when the gesture is done out of hospitality or generosity it's polite to be gracious in accepting this. The same way you accept a gift you may not like but your gracious and thankful to the individual.

I think it's perfectly acceptable to mention that perhaps a different musical genre was chosen over the 'opera', but this can be done tastefully and without simply complaining.

"Oh I had a good time tonight and it was great to be out with family and friends. Perhaps next time we can chose a different genre of music though?"

 

Bijou

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Re: Complaining about free events
« Reply #18 on: November 08, 2012, 01:01:59 PM »
I think it is rude to complain.  Even if you don't enjoy it, it's another experience. 
And, better to discover you hate opera at a free concert rather than pay for a seat and then discover you can't stand it.   ;)
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Gyburc

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Re: Complaining about free events
« Reply #19 on: November 09, 2012, 05:55:56 AM »
I agree with the PPs who have said it's rude to complain in these circumstances. To my mind, it's also rather a silly thing to do, because it makes the complainer look ungracious.

By way of comparison, I once worked for a company whose Director was leaving, and he very kindly invited all the 'lower-echelon' office staff out to a lunch at his own expense to say thank you. We all went, had a lovely meal and wine.

However, one of my co-workers had taken a dislike to the Director some years previously. She attended the meal, barely speaking to anyone and never to the Director, but then groused and complained to the rest of us afterwards that she hadn't wanted to go but felt she couldn't get out of it. This really wasn't true - it was a completely voluntary event and she could easily have found a polite excuse. Instead, she came along, ate and drank on his dime, and then complained about it afterwards. It really didn't make her look good.

I do realise the situations aren't exactly the same, but I think the same principle applies.
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Flora Louise

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Re: Complaining about free events
« Reply #20 on: November 09, 2012, 10:38:22 AM »
I once attended a dinner for a charity. The hotel at which the event was held was quite generous in their accomodations and yet, I overheard one man complain to a waitress afterward that the dinner wasn't to his liking (it was the standard charity function chicken breast). I felt embarrassed that he and I were associated with the same charity.
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miranova

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Re: Complaining about free events
« Reply #21 on: November 09, 2012, 09:04:54 PM »
In certain industries, certain clients tend to get very used to being taken out to dinner, given lavish entertainment, and in general just being catered to by businesses wanting to earn or keep them as clients.  I have seen some of these clients get extremely critical of the pretty expensive things they are receiving.  I once overheard clients go on and on about the bad seats they were given to a very nice concert.  I found it in very poor taste.  Yes, we all know it's a marketing game, but if you aren't enjoying it, don't play.  If the dinners are not good enough for you, just stay home or take yourself to your own favorite restaurant.  If you want front row seats, buy them yourself.  If you are that important to "deserve" them, then surely you can afford them yourself?

Marketing game or not, an invitation is still not a summons and no one is forcing these people to go see an opera that they don't want to see.  As the OP has further clarified that this event is totally optional, I have to wonder why the customers didn't choose differently for how they would spend their evening that night if opera was not to their liking.  Did these super imporant people not have any other invitations or options?  Or do they just like complaining and acting important and hard to impress?

Surianne

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Re: Complaining about free events
« Reply #22 on: November 09, 2012, 09:19:22 PM »
In certain industries, certain clients tend to get very used to being taken out to dinner, given lavish entertainment, and in general just being catered to by businesses wanting to earn or keep them as clients.  I have seen some of these clients get extremely critical of the pretty expensive things they are receiving.  I once overheard clients go on and on about the bad seats they were given to a very nice concert.  I found it in very poor taste.  Yes, we all know it's a marketing game, but if you aren't enjoying it, don't play.  If the dinners are not good enough for you, just stay home or take yourself to your own favorite restaurant.  If you want front row seats, buy them yourself.  If you are that important to "deserve" them, then surely you can afford them yourself?

Marketing game or not, an invitation is still not a summons and no one is forcing these people to go see an opera that they don't want to see.  As the OP has further clarified that this event is totally optional, I have to wonder why the customers didn't choose differently for how they would spend their evening that night if opera was not to their liking.  Did these super imporant people not have any other invitations or options?  Or do they just like complaining and acting important and hard to impress?

It's possible to not realize you won't enjoy an event until you're there.  I've been to plays where I paid for a ticket and didn't know it would be poorly directed, and concerts where I paid for a ticket and didn't realize how terrible the sound would be.  I'm sure the same must happen when the ticket is a gift. 

As long as the complaint is politely worded, I don't see anything wrong with letting the organizer or hosting company know that the performance wasn't something you enjoyed.  How else are they supposed to find out what their clients/customers would prefer next year?

miranova

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Re: Complaining about free events
« Reply #23 on: November 09, 2012, 10:00:36 PM »
In certain industries, certain clients tend to get very used to being taken out to dinner, given lavish entertainment, and in general just being catered to by businesses wanting to earn or keep them as clients.  I have seen some of these clients get extremely critical of the pretty expensive things they are receiving.  I once overheard clients go on and on about the bad seats they were given to a very nice concert.  I found it in very poor taste.  Yes, we all know it's a marketing game, but if you aren't enjoying it, don't play.  If the dinners are not good enough for you, just stay home or take yourself to your own favorite restaurant.  If you want front row seats, buy them yourself.  If you are that important to "deserve" them, then surely you can afford them yourself?

Marketing game or not, an invitation is still not a summons and no one is forcing these people to go see an opera that they don't want to see.  As the OP has further clarified that this event is totally optional, I have to wonder why the customers didn't choose differently for how they would spend their evening that night if opera was not to their liking.  Did these super imporant people not have any other invitations or options?  Or do they just like complaining and acting important and hard to impress?

It's possible to not realize you won't enjoy an event until you're there.  I've been to plays where I paid for a ticket and didn't know it would be poorly directed, and concerts where I paid for a ticket and didn't realize how terrible the sound would be.  I'm sure the same must happen when the ticket is a gift. 

As long as the complaint is politely worded, I don't see anything wrong with letting the organizer or hosting company know that the performance wasn't something you enjoyed.  How else are they supposed to find out what their clients/customers would prefer next year?

We will have to agree to disagree.  In my experience the type of people who go out of their way to complain about free events are not motivated by trying to do their hosts a huge favor and educating them for next time.  If the hosts really want to know what you thought about the opera, nothing is stopping them from directly asking you how you liked it, in which case polite honesty is just fine.  No one should have to actually lie.  But I don't buy the argument that complaining is actually a kind service to the hosts.

CakeEater

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Re: Complaining about free events
« Reply #24 on: November 10, 2012, 02:12:22 AM »
There's lots of things I don't want, even if it's free. I don't think I should just 'suck it up' and take whatever's handed out, just because I didn't have to pay for it. To be honest, I'd rather sit home in my jammies and eat beans on toast than eat an awful dinner and sit through a painful concert that I didn't pay for. If something is not as it was advertised, or explained to you, or the quality is poor, I think absolutely you can complain about something free if you've invested time and energy into attending.

However, that's not the case here. If something is advertised as an opera concert, you don't go along and then complain that you don't like opera. That's poor form.

Surianne

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Re: Complaining about free events
« Reply #25 on: November 10, 2012, 06:45:15 AM »
We will have to agree to disagree.  In my experience the type of people who go out of their way to complain about free events are not motivated by trying to do their hosts a huge favor and educating them for next time.  If the hosts really want to know what you thought about the opera, nothing is stopping them from directly asking you how you liked it, in which case polite honesty is just fine.  No one should have to actually lie.  But I don't buy the argument that complaining is actually a kind service to the hosts.

I'm not sure where you're getting "huge favor" and "kind service" from -- I don't think I said that at all in my post.  I would consider a politely-worded complaint to be feedback, not a favor or service. 

blarg314

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Re: Complaining about free events
« Reply #26 on: November 11, 2012, 07:55:16 PM »
But overtly religious opera (I don't even know if that's a thing, but since we aren't really talking about opera, follow me  ;) )

As an aside, an overly religious opera is usually called an oratorio (like Handel's Messiah).

Venus193

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Re: Complaining about free events
« Reply #27 on: November 11, 2012, 08:07:40 PM »
As an aside, Camille Saint-Saens intended to compose Samson and Delilah as an oratorio, but most classical music fans are really happy it's an opera: